French President Emmanuel Macron, joined by the presidents of Ivory Coast and Guinea, led commemorations at Saint-Raphaël, in Provence marking the 75th anniversary of the Allied troop landings to liberate southern France from German occupation, when he notably paid tribute to the role of huge numbers of soldiers from France's African colonies, of whom about 55,000 were killed during WWII, declaring 'France has a part of Africa in her, and on this Provence soil, this part was that of shed blood'.
A major political controversy has erupted over a government decision to use French troops, normally deployed on streets in anti-terrorism patrols, to defend official buildings and free-up police numbers during anti-government 'yellow vest' protests this weekend, amid tensions heightened by a ban on demonstrations in certain towns and cities.
French President Emmanuel Macron, speaking during a visit to Chad, said he "very deeply' regrets the decision by his US counterpart Donald Trump to withdraw American troops from Syria, commenting that 'An ally should be dependable'.
A French soldier escaped injury after a knifeman who attacked him and colleagues on foot patrol in the busy central Paris underground train station Châtelet was wrestled to the ground and detained, prompting the opening of a counter-terrorism investigation.
In a visit lasting just a few hours, President Emmanuel Macron on Friday met some of the 4,000 French troops engaged in Mali to fight jihadist forces in the north and the wider Sahel region, pledge that France will continue to defend the West African country and to provide aide for its development.